Snapchat is too big to ignore anymore — driving more than 10 billion daily video views by users.
10 billion views (with a b). Let that sink in for a second.
That’s massive. By comparison, Facebook has 8 billion daily video views. What’s so different though, is Snapchat’s 10 billion views are coming exclusively from mobile devices.
For marketers, there’s a huge opportunity to tap into that audience and tell new stories, as it’s not just a platform for teens anymore. 3/4th’s of US users are over the age of 18, and we’re seeing more people over the age of 25 joining the platform, a number expected only to grow in 2016.
But while many marketers have spent the better part of the year getting used to the platform itself, one of the biggest things that’s still confusing people is measuring success of content on Snapchat.
When we already see marketers struggle to make meaning from established data sources it’s understandable why a new and complicated platform like Snapchat without formal analytics would be hard for marketers to dive right into.
On Snapchat, marketers should focus less on the number of connected followers they have and more on the number of people consuming their stories. In fact, most users can’t even see how many followers they have on Snapchat, instead you can measure how many people view your snaps on average.
Fortunately, we’ve built Snapchat analytics software to help solve this problem, but we’ve also put together some of our findings from this year and distilled then into the four key metrics that will get you started.
1. Total Unique Viewers
The total unique viewers are the number of people who have opened up the first frame in your Snapchat story for at least a second. It can be found by looking at the number of people who opened the first snap of a story every 24 hours.
Looking at unique viewers can’t be done in a vacuum though. To best measure success using unique viewers, track the growth of unique viewers week over week to see if you’re gaining or losing viewers each week.
2. Total Story Completions
As mentioned above, Snapchat stories can be one frame, or 100 frames long. The best storytellers on Snapchat use their 24 hour window to string multiple snaps together to create one cohesive video and story.
When you post a story that is multiple frames long, look at the number of people who have viewed the last snap to measure the number of people who have completed your entire story.
The more people who viewed the last frame of your story, the more people who watched it all the way through and consumed that content.
Below you can see Sara Hopkins’ takeover of the Jack in the Box account for the campaign Delmondo ran for National Hamburger Day to see what a longer story looks like.
3. Completion Percentage
Snapchat is like a storybook, with a beginning, middle, and end. Fortunately for us, Snapchat lets us see how many people have viewed each chapter along the way, as described above.
Divide the ending view by the starting view to figure out what % of people who opened the story watched all of it. Divide the total view count in the last snap from the total view count in first snap to find your retention rate.
We see Facebook and YouTube often look at completion rate as a metric of engagement with a particular piece of content.
While those are usually looked at as one video, on Snapchat we find that many users are consuming content in one sitting, even if creators and brands are dripping out posts throughout the day.
On Snapchat, there are no real likes, comments or shares, but Snapchat does show users how many people have taken screenshots of their Snaps.
Screenshots can be used as an engagement tool, for example you could encourage people to screenshot three choices, in a “choose-your-own adventure” type of story.
You could use screenshots as a way to measure responses to polls. Record the number of screenshots per choice, and then follow up with your users with the results.
Check out an example of a trivia game that we created for the UFC on their account below.
Measuring Snapchat analytics isn’t always the easiest, there are no native brand tools yet like Facebook and Twitter that most of us have grown accustomed to, and Delmondo is one of the few software solutions automating Snapchat analytics for brands.
It’s more like the early days of Instagram, a new and evolving process that marketers need to just grow and learn with as Snapchat continues to prove its value.
But just because it takes a little bit longer to measure, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take the time to record your results, as we’ve seen, the results are massive. By taking a little extra time to understand the performance of your stories, you can actually learn a lot about your audience.
As with any communication channel, you’re still fighting for attention with a number of different sources of content within Snapchat alone. Using data to understand how your content is performing is essential to understanding how, why, and if you should spend the resources there.